China promises unprecedented market access if it can join the Pacific Trade Pact

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China will pledge to allow an unprecedented level of access to its markets to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce said.

The commitment amounts to “high-level openness,” the extent to which China has never agreed under a current trade deal, Shu Jueting said at a press conference on Thursday (link in Chinese) in response to a question from a reporter about the country’s preparations to meet entry requirements for the Trans-Pacific Multilateral Trade Pact.

“China has carried out a comprehensive assessment of the rules of the pact and has sorted out potential reform measures and revisions to laws and regulations that it may need to make to join the CPTPP,” she said.

The remarks came after China filed a request in September to join the CPTPP. He now faces a daunting task to negotiate an accession agreement with the eleven members of the pact – Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam.

The CPTPP is the largest free trade area in the Asia-Pacific region and the third largest in the world. With China, the deal would cover a third of global GDP, making it the largest regional free trade area in the world. Experts said that China’s entry into the CPTPP increase economic growth and boost regional economic integration in the Asia-Pacific region.

Shu said China will negotiate with each CPTPP member, in accordance with the relevant procedures to join the trade pact.

Analysts believe issues such as Chinese state-owned enterprises and lack of labor and electronic data protection are the main obstacles to its entry into the CPTPP, which is known for its higher standards in the matter. Japanese Vice Finance Minister Kenji Nakanishi said in September that China’s policies, including its subsidies to state-owned enterprises, meant it had no chance of joining the pact. It is widely accepted that China will need to deepen reforms and expand openness to meet CPTPP entry requirements.

“Applying to join the CPTPP shows China’s will and determination to further deepen reforms and open up its markets,” Shu said. “China is willing to work with all parties to overcome the damage caused by the epidemic, to advance regional economic integration, as well as trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, to further contribute to the recovery global economy. “

Contact reporter Tang Ziyi ([email protected]) and editor-in-chief Michael Bellart ([email protected])

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